UNM’s Physical Plant Department, the largest department within the University, is changing its name. Gone are the days of referring to it and its over 390 employees as PPD. Starting Aug. 24, an official launch to change the name to Facilities Management began. 

“We are demonstrating a new impact of our presence on campus,” said Al Sena, director, Facilities Management. “We are The University of New Mexico — that is a message we share with the department — we are the frontline to the students, the people who make a difference, the first extension of what the University stands for and we want to be recognizable.”

Some history

The University of New Mexico was founded in 1889 with one building. At that time the maintenance for that building was provided by the Plant. Over 120 years later, the Physical Plant Department has grown and provides many more services than just maintenance and utilities.  

The PPD name didn’t quite encompass the entirety of what is provided to the UNM campus community by the department, nor did the name directly identify the work of its employees. 

In a department presentation, Facilities Management noted, the name PPD, “Fails in describing the many services we provide such as, engineering, event support and rentals, sign making, recycling, automotive services, and space management.”

Neighboring universities such as New Mexico State University, University of Arizona and University of Colorado, just to name a few, also have similarly named Facilities Management and Facilities & Services departments. 

Costs for the name change are expected to be nominal. As with the logo change for the University, Facilities Management plans to update signage, cars and other collateral through attrition. 

“We are going to first change things that are easily done like stickers for cars and shirts,” said Sena. “We’re in the process of doing that anyway, so it’s really as we need something, slowly making the change.”